Pop Culture Inspiration

Nothing much exciting is happening this week in my life.  School started again…..barforama to optimization techniques.  So, I’ll have to get after that this weekend while I can more beans and peppers because ya know….I’m obsessed now.

I thought I’d throw together a list of women in pop culture who inspire me.  I have plenty of strong, inspiring women in my every day life, but every once in awhile a celebrity comes along and gives you a little extra boost of inspiration.

Rhonda Rousey

Could we talk about this outfit?!?!? I want it.....gym motivation right here!

Could we talk about this outfit?!?!? I want it…..gym motivation right here!

Should you ever feel like taking the lazy way out in life remember……Rhonda doesn’t have time for DO NOTHING BITCHES!  She says that it’s a term she uses to describe

  the women my mother raised me not to be.”

 I think that’s incredibly important in today’s society.  She sets goals and demolishes them, and that’s something that any mother should want for her daughters.  We don’t all have to win fights in 34 seconds, be rolling in cash money, or become a celebrity to prove you’re worth something.  Getting up everyday and working on the life you’ve made yourself……that makes you a DO SOMETHING BITCH……and that’s the kind of bitch my parents raised me to be.

Khloe Kardashian

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Someone’s got to be the tallest one. It’s not a role just anyone can fill!

Yes yes yes….I know some of you are gonna hate me for saying I find a Kardashian to be inspirational.  Just hear me out.  I think it’s important that girls of every shape, size, color, and height have someone to look up to.  For me, Khloe has been that person.  It’s just nice to feel like you don’t have to be a stick figure blonde to get somewhere in this world sometimes.  We tall, curvy, brunette women have to stick together….after all, it can get a bit lonely up here in the clouds.

No matter what, my weight doesn’t define me.”

She’s my reminder that I can be tall and wear heels.  Who cares if I tower over people….it’s a good way for my friends to find me when we are out and about.  Also she’s got sass for days and an epic bitch face!

Nicki Minaj

Can we talk about this dress!?!? Someday I could get married in a less pink version of this!

Can we talk about this dress!?!? Someday I could get married in a less pink version of this!

I’m not generally a huge fan of hip hop music, but sometimes Queen Minaj just gets my jam!  I also think it’s nice that she stresses the importance of education to her fans.  She’s known for promising her fans that they can be anything they want to be, but they need to stay in school.  She also never hesitates to call out the inequalities between men and women.

I stand for girls wanting to be sexy and dance, but also have a strong sense of themselves.  If you’ve got a big ol’ butt?  Shake it!  Who cares?  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be graduating from college.”

I just want women to always feel in control.  Because we’re capable- we’re so capable.”

Women should be allowed to be as hardcore and sexual as we want, because men do it all the time.”

Ironically, I read on Yahoo! this morning that Nicki Minaj and the Kardashians were voted two of the worst influences for kids by parents.  Whatever, they can still be my role models because I’m not a child anymore!  This is maybe why I shouldn’t have kids…?!??!

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A Dilly Bean Party and Other Homemaker Type Things

I learned a new skill, and I pickled green beans!!

(I wrote the bulk of this last night after I finished canning, but I couldn’t publish it until today, because I needed to let some stuff sit over night to make sure it all worked before I started spouting my epic successes…..I won some and I lost some.)

I didn’t even know that dilly beans were a thing until Momma’s friend sent me a jar last fall.  I’m totally hooked…..just the right amount of spicy and dilly!  Apparently, they are good in red beers and bloody mary’s.  I’ve never actually had a red beer, and while I do like bloody mary’s, I just eat the beans plain….straight outta the jar! I was a bit apprehensive about the whole canning process….it seemed harder than it actually ended up being.  Also, there was the small issue of all the green beans at the grocery stores looking…….questionable.  Momma informed me that it was past bean season, however I soldiered on, and collected some jars and other required paraphernalia from the basement at home in preparation.

Priority one was obviously trying to find beans.  After striking out at several grocery stores, I had an epiphany….THE FARMER’S MARKET!  I totally skipped out on morning Yoga Sculpt….ooops….in favor of hunting down several pounds of beans and dill.  I was totally victorious, and I also snagged myself a beautiful bouquet of dahlias……just becase sometimes you need flowers in your house!  Sadly, one of the dahlias is looking a bit wilty, hopefully he will perk up over night.

(….he has sadly not perked much….I cut off some more stem, but I might have lost a dahlia.)

Great shopping success!

Great shopping success!  8 pounds of beans and 2 fluffy bunches of dill…..

Gorgeous

Gorgeous

8 of the jars from Momma’s house went into the dishwasher, and I started prepping the veggies.  I had to do the canning in batches because only 4 jars would fit in my largest pot at once.  The beans went into the colander in batches, and I snapped the ends off and cleaned them.  Garlic cloves were smashed and peeled, celery and carrots cut, and Scout mooched the entire time for vegetable treats!

Getting organized

Getting organized and mentally prepared!

Prep work is key....can anyone say Mise en Place!?!?

Prep work is key….can anyone say Mise en Place!?!?  This was enough to do the first 4 jars.

While the jars were being washed and the beans were being prepped, I started my huge soup pot of water warming and the brine.  Mostly, the part about canning that stressed me out the most was that everything has to be hot, or the lids won’t seal.  More than once I sent out a panic text about the fact that the beans were stressing me.  However, I’m 98% confident that all my lids did in fact seal, and that I won’t have to consume my body weight in dilly beans in the next two weeks.

(Checked all the seals today, and they seem good.  Canning success!)

Smells horrific.....turns regular ol' beans into something amazing!

Smells horrific…..turns regular ol’ beans into something amazing!

I was also slightly concerned that I wasn’t packing the beans into the jars tight enough.  The first jar was a bit rough, but after that I think I got a technique down fairly well.  I did have to read about how to can using a water bath online….

A….because I have visions of horror whereby a pressure cooker blows up in my kitchen, and

B…..because all the recipes I found online just said “process jars”.

SOME OF US ARE DUMB NEWBIES!!!  How does one go about “processing jars”!?!?  Turns out you cover the jars fully plus 1 inch of water, and then start counting the time when the water returns to a gentle boil.  Also, I didn’t have a rack for the bottom of my pot, so my jars required a bit of babysitting so they didn’t bump around too much and break.  Don’t worry, I didn’t loose any jars!

The first jar, sealed and ready for the water bath!

The first jar, sealed and ready for the water bath!

Basically, you just keep repeating the jar filling process until you run out of stuff.  After the first batch of 4, I had run out of vinegar.  Helpful tip…..if you want to start pickling, just buy the biggest jug of vinegar you can find…..trust me, you’ll need it!  I did go out and grab more vinegar, and I ended up with 10 jars total from the 8 pounds of beans I started with.  I did have to run another batch of jars through the dishwasher, so I had sort of a long break between the second and third batch.

V is for Victory!

V is for Victory!

Look at all the deliciousness!

Look at all the deliciousness!

All in all, canning wasn’t a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Plus, now that I know what I’m doing I totally understand why people would want to do this.  It’s an easy way to be able to eat delicious veggies all winter long.  I come from a farming and canning family, and even though I will probably never get fancy enough to do jams and jellies, I would like to get to a point eventually where I can do tomatoes, pickles, beans…..the things I eat and use often.  Unfortunately, I don’t live on a farm, so the growing of all the veggies is still a bit problematic.

I might carve out some time next weekend to make more dilly beans, because I have a feeling these are going to be eaten pretty quickly!  Plus, it’s nice to keep old school skills alive.  If people my age don’t learn and use these skills they will eventually be lost.  I understand that we live in a world were it’s easier to drive to the store and buy cans of tomatoes….but that hasn’t always been a reality.  At the end of the day, it’s never a bad feeling know where your food comes from, plus there’s an extra sense of pride that comes from knowing that you did something yourself!

When you learn a new skill and are suddenly overtaken with the desire to do it all day everyday!

When you learn a new skill, and are suddenly overtaken with the desire to do it all day everyday!

It was actually a whole week of random home activities around here.  Monday I skipped out on work to finish up some of the furniture that sat in my garage all winter.  I had a set of dining room chairs I never got around to finishing, mostly because I bought other chairs to go with the table.  Monday was the day!!  The chairs were already painted, they just needed to be distressed and waxed.  Now, instead of chairs in the garage serving no purpose, I have chairs sprinkled randomly around the house. photo 1

Some sanding and some dark wax does wonders to fix up some ugly chairs.

Some sanding and some dark wax does wonders to fix up some ugly chairs.

I also suffered a bit of a landscaping crisis this week.  We’ve been having really strong winds all week, and one of my little trees is having some issues being a tree.  I had originally thought that the fees I pay the HOA every month went towards things like spraying weeds and making sure my trees grow in an upright direction, however I have slowly started to learn that that isn’t the case.  I haven’t quite gotten around the spraying the weeds and crab grass yet, but I did get the tree back on the up and up.  Fun fact, I ran into the Vinyl Enthusiast at Menards the other day and he had to help me find tree fixing accouterments.  Sometimes, it’s all about who you know!

(The wind picked up again last night, and pulled the stake out of the ground.  So, I’m once again back to having a tree that refuses to act like a tree.  At this point, it might just be easier to rip it out and plant something new.  Can’t win everything I guess!)

When you go outside and discover your tree having technical difficulties.

…..when you go outside and discover your tree having technical difficulties treeing……

A Lazy DIY Weekend

Last weekend was my first “homework free” weekend since summer class started 8 weeks ago.  I was pretty excited to get some stuff done around the house.  My original plan was to finish the dining chairs that have been taking up space in my garage all winter.  However, some of the required supplies ended up at Mom’s house, so that idea was out.  Instead, I did some low key projects around the house.  It’s been awhile since I’ve done much of anything to the house, so I’ll try and get you up to speed.

Friday Night

In prime summertime funtime form, Friday afternoon was spent at the pool.  Post sunning I may or may not have taken a nap before deciding that it was finally time to head out to the store and buy some food.  After getting cat called and followed around the Walmart….ugh disaster……I ended up at a bar with Pimp Money talking about my rally adventures.  Apparently, you know you’re “single as fuck” when your friend calls you at 10pm on a Friday night, and you’re out grocery shopping.  Thanks for that little reminder Pimp Money!

Saturday

I didn’t do much.  I was still way to sore from the gym to even think that going back for another workout would be a good idea.  Instead, I made coffee and eggs and bummed around on the couch watching NCIS.  Fun fact….Netflix has 11 seasons of NCIS.  If you need me at any point in the near future, that’s what I shall be doing.  If your activity doesn’t beat Gibs, Abby, and Ducky….I’m probably opting out.  #atleastimhonest #abbyismyspiritanimal

SCIENCE FOR THE WIN

SCIENCE FOR THE WIN

I did eventually motivate to clean my house, and I did grill a bunch of food so I’d have leftovers to eat all week.  Brats and zucchini over charcoal…..life doesn’t get much better.  The bestie came over and helped me switch out a light in my stairway.  My house has really ugly light fixtures, and they all have to go!  Through the power of google, Angry Orchard, and some creative ladder placement, we swapped the flush mount ickiness for my hanging orb, and it’s looking much nicer now!  Thank goodness I know how to use a wire nut!  (I just took a safety class, and promptly ignored everything I learned while balancing a ladder on two different landings.  We did however flip off basically every breaker in my entire house because electricity is tricky! Safety first kids!)

WHO EVEN LIKES THESE?!?

WHO EVEN LIKES THESE?!?

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Seriously though…..make sure you turn off the power before you start rewiring light fixtures. Zaps hurt!

The next item on our bestie to do list was replanting my terrarium.  I’m not sure what happened, but when I moved he died……..like a very moldy, crispy, dried out sorta death.  So, off to Walmart we headed.  The plant selection was a bit depressing so we decided that girl’s night with the dogs, wine, and ice cream would be better.  No complaints here about HAVING to drink wine and watch Gerald Butler! 🙂

I die.......

I die…….

Sunday

Woke up late with no particular plans again.  Made more coffee and breakfast because ya know……a girl’s gotta eat!  Saturday night I bought the Lonesome Dove box set at Walmart so I decided that I would be lazy and watch it.  I had forgotten that just Lonesome Dove is a 4 part movie!  Needless to say, I only made it through the first 2 parts on Sunday.  While lounging and watching the movie I did manage to make 3 batches of banana bread for no real apparent reason.  So, I’m set on the bread front for the foreseeable future.  I also picked a whole pile of tomatoes off my little plant and made some bruschetta for dinner……because it’s amazeballs!

Side Note– Scout has turned into a deranged tomato puppy.  The first thing she does anytime we go outside is run over to the tomato plant and prance anxiously around whilst licking the plant.  Then she sits there, whines, and pouts until she gets a tomato……spoiled lil diva dog.

I did manage to dress myself and head off to the garden center and got 3 new baby plants for my terrarium and an air plant.  The terrarium plants were classified as “Fairy Garden Size”, and I oddly enjoy that fact.

From crispy dead to fresh and green with a little baby plant to spare.

From crispy dead to fresh and green with a little baby plant to spare.

Terrarium Tutorial

  • Make sure to wash and dry your chosen pot, and wipe hard to remove smudges
  • 1 inch of small pebbles in the very bottom
  • About 1/4 cup of aquarium charcoal to help purify the water
  • Add a layer of larger, flat-ish rocks to help keep the soil out of the pebbles (You could also use a layer of coffee filters, but I find you can see it around the edges)
  • Mix water and an additional 1/4 cup of charcoal into potting soil.  Soil should be wet, but not soggy.  (This helps your new plants get the water they need without having to over water the terrarium)
  • Arrange plants as desired and keep adding small amounts of damp soil as needed
  • Cover, water sparingly, and trim plants as needed.

A covered terrarium, like I have, should in theory “self-water”.  Water filters down through the soil and into the pebbles were it eventually evaporates up and condenses on the lid.  If you want an open terrarium you’ll have to water more often.

After the plants I headed to the mall.  I had money to spend at Victoria’s Secret, and of course the coupons didn’t work online…..so off to brave the weekend mall crowd I went.  Normally, I wouldn’t have spent so much money there, but

A. Sports bras were on sale, and I NEEDED one!  I get sick of doing laundry purely because my gym clothes are dirty.

B. Some of my regular bras have taken to trying to impale me, and I will only attempt to sew them back into submission so many times.  So this…..was also a NEED!

Finally got an air plant for my champagne cork….isn’t he cute?!?!

Mischief managed for the weekend I guess!

I’ve also made some decisions about the rest of my house….finally!

  • Colors for the bedroom have been picked!  I won’t paint until the fall when the humidity returns to a some what tolerable level, but the decision has been made!Bedroom 1I don’t think I’ll paint the whole wall blackberry, but I will be adding a chair rail and trim/molding to the room eventually to up the fanciness level!
  • I’ve decided the time has come to finish my garage.  Bestie, the Hubby, and I will fix all the tape and it needs to be painted.  I’m just going to use leftover house paint, so whatever my garage is gonna be “townhome beige”.  After that I will get all my shelving hung and hopefully get everything up off the floor and organized.
  • I’m debating the purchase of a chandelier for my bedroom.
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I think this may be a need in my life!

#Sturgisorbust

Hopefully you’re not getting sick of my pictures.  It just seems like the easiest way to share my shenanigans with you.  Last weekend was no exception.  I loaded down the Terrain and headed out West to the Sturgis rally.  As with all my craziest trips, the pictures are really worth a thousand words.

To keep this PG there shall be no pictures of pasties or women in body paint….

A….because it was so crowded it was hard to know when a mostly naked women was going to appear.

B……because it’s frankly never the ones you want to see naked that are rocking the look.  I however, am not here to judge.  More power to ya ladies!

Also, sorry for all the pictures with beer…..there honestly wasn’t a huge amount of time that I wasn’t holding one…..and frankly I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that life!

BeFunky Collage

As usual, it’s important that you pack nearly everything you own and way too many shoes (I brought 6 pairs total!!).  Maybe if I bothered to plan activities I’d have a better shot at packing realistically for my adventures, but I don’t.  I tend to just show up and wing it, so I always way over pack for these things.

There will  be a period of time where you wonder if you’ll ever actually make it to Rapid City.  Road construction will make you question your sanity, and the drive will give you serious motorcycle envy…..this is only the beginning.

Make sure when you get to Rapid City that you stop at Philly Ted’s.  I didn’t even get to eat my first philly…..sharing is caring I guess!  Don’t worry, I eventually got my fix.

BeFunky Collage

You might discover that beer gives you epic photography skills.  Granted, it’s hard to mess up pictures when you have the Hills as a background….but I think I did pretty awesome on the action shots.  The guys made me attempt to hit a clay, and I failed hard.  Oh well, we made fish and potatoes, and my sweet Tinder opportunities inspired the guys to try and hook me up with various rally attendees……this also was a huge fail….thank goodness!

….and you’re holding on like a mechanic on the Titanic….”

BeFunky Collage night 1

When your Mother’s friend tells you to put on your boots and kick up some dust, you’d best believe I threw on the boots and hit the town.  When in cowboy county, do as the cowboys do.  Not that I know any cowboys who where bedazzled boots, but I do know some who wear flannel, drink cheap beer, and throw darts.  That my friends sounds like a good night to me any day of the week!

I got too distracted to get pictures of darts with Todd, but I did get to roll around in his Jeep with the top down….unfortunately, there was no sombrero action this time.

You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning!!  So Sunday brought breakfast burritos and bloody marys in Deadwood followed by BOGO PBRs (insert excited face here!!!) and people watching.  I think that since for many Harley owners their bikes represent freedom, it’s only fitting that I drank red, white, and blue beer on my trip.  ‘Merica!  

(I’m aware that my drinks of choice are similar to what 50 year old men drink…..that’s just how I roll!)

There are no pictures of Sunday night because I had a date.  Also, I didn’t drink all day because the date and I both had to drive, and you should always adult responsibly!  

Post date, I maybe should retract what I said about the Tinder Cowboy a couple weeks ago……horses are his life and I should maybe not be such a judge-y bitch face all the time……more about that on another day hopefully.  He was actually very nice, and still super smokin’ hot good looking!BeFunky Collage sunday

BeFunky Collage bike

I hauled my bike out to the hills because I had an inkling that I would have Monday morning free, and I was right.  I generally like to think that I’m in decent physical shape, but uphill biking at an altitude change proved me wrong in a hurry.  But, never the less, it was good to burn off some of the beers and have some alone time.  I’m not sure you’ll be able to see it, but through the trees on the bottom picture is the top of the mine shaft at the Underground Lab where my dad used to work.

After my ride I headed back to the “Dog House” to get ready for a day of adventures.  Monday night was rally time, and I knew I wanted to show up looking like the glorious biker princess that I am in my dreams.  Victoria’s Secret Angel curls, denim shorts, Sturgis shirts, and biker boots was the style of the day and I headed off to meet my Lil B for lunch.

Lewie’s is a favorite, and if you’re ever out in the Hills you should check them out.  Nothing can go wrong when you have a bacon cheeseburger with jalapenos and beers on a patio.  

You might witness some weird things while hanging on the patio…..it’s rally time…..you’ve just gotta accept it!  It’s also important to know that if you yell “I like your selfie stick” at a biker, you will then have to take a photo with said biker and his selfie stick!

There’s a line…..and you’ve crossed it!”

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photo 4 (4)

…..again, #sorrynotsorry for all the beer!  We needed a wardrobe change, and you can’t do that without drinking!

Monday night we headed down to the rally for concerts, corn dogs, and more beer!  The Easyrider always has free concerts during the rally, and sometimes they are even people you’ve heard of!  Monday night was Hairball and Quiet Riot, which seemed like a solid time.  (I had originally thought Monday night was Hinder, but I can’t read a calendar correctly apparently.)

Mostly, we ended up watching bikes, hanging out, and surviving a hail storm/monsoon.  We started the storm under a blow up canopy, and that sorta did the job for the hail.  The monsoon quickly proved that we needed to move, and the closest place was, of course, the bar!  Whilst waiting out the rain under the bar tent I did flirt with an Indian sales rep, however I’m sorry to report that he did not like me enough to offer to give me a bike…..

The guys met an MMA fighter who’s apparently legit (buff dude in the man tank….), the dude in the long sleeves is a former Green Bay Packer that no one really cared about (though he’s a part owner of the bar so there’s that), and I was reminded that squats are indeed very important.  ….if you’re gonna wear cut off jean shorts, I support you…..however not everyone has the butt for it….that’s all I’m saying.  #hakunamasquata

All in all we survived the storm, grabbed McDonald’s on the way home, and headed up and outta the craziness back to Deadwood.

BeFunky Collage

That about wraps it up.  A quick cruise around Tuesday morning on a crotch rocket reaffirmed my commitment to cruisers, and I was off to lunch in Rapid.  Had Philly Ted’s with my best chemistry gangster, and I hit the road back home.  I have a freezer full of philly’s now and some awesome memories!